I Peter 5:10-14

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

CLOSING COMMENTS

INTRODUCTION:

 

So far in I Peter we have seen that:

 

            1:1-12 – God has saved us.

            1:13-16     – That believers should live holy lives.

            1:17-21     – That believers should have reverence toward God.

            1:22-25     – That believers should love their fellow-believers.

            2:1-3   – That believers should be growing spiritually.

            2:4-10 – That believers have many privileges.

            2:11-20     – That believers have many responsibilities.

            2:21-25     – That believers should suffer after the example of Christ.

            3:1-7   – That believers have responsibilities in marriage.

            3:8-12 – That believers are expected to exhibit certain traits.

            3:13-21     – That believers have a Biblical pattern for suffering.

            4:1-6   – That believers should live differently from the way unbelievers live.

            4:7-19 – That believers should conduct themselves properly in the light of the times in which they live.

            5:1-4   – That pastors must assume the leadership in the local churches and feed their flocks.

            5:5-9   – And that believers must follow general guidelines for Christian living.

 

We have seen that –

Younger believers must submit themselves to older believers – 5:5a

That believers must be subject one to another – 5:5b

That they must be clothed with humility – 5:5c-6

That they must deposit their cares with the Lord – 5:7

That they must be sober-minded – 5:8a

That they must be spiritually awake – 5:8b

And that they must resist the devil – 5:9

 

In verses 10-14 Peter draws his epistle to a close. He wishes that God, Who is the source of all grace and Who has called believers to eternal salvation, bring the readers of this epistle into a perfect Christlikeness as a result of the suffering they are enduring. Peter ascribes glory and sovereignty to God for ever and ever. Peter mentions that he has written using Silvanus as his amanuensis and testifies that the salvation possessed by his readers is genuine. Greetings are sent from the church at Babylon and from Marcus, and Peter’s readers are urged to greet one another with a kiss of charity. Finally, Peter wishes peace upon all saved persons.

We see that –

    I.     GOD WILL MAKE BELIEVERS PERFECT – 5:10

 

I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect. . . .

 

But the God of all grace introduces the conclusion of Peter’s first letter.

 

But marks a new unit of thought and is understood in the sense of now or and.

 

Grace is undeserved or unmerited favor.

 

The God of all grace indicates that the God of the Bible is the source or giver of all grace. The fact that He is the God of all grace indicates that there is no grace or unmerited favor to be found for the sinner from any other source. It further suggests that His grace is more than adequate for every circumstance or need.

 

God is further described by who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus.

 

Who is God the Father.

 

The tense of hath called indicates an action which was completed in past time.

 

Called means more than invited. It is used in this verse in the sense of summoned and refers to the effectual call to salvation by which God draws someone to Himself.

 

Jesus spoke of this call in John 6:44 .

 

John 6:44 No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

Paul wrote of this call in Romans 8:28-30 .

 

Romans 8:28-30 – (28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

Back to I Peter 5:10

Us refers initially to Peter and those to whom he is writing and by extension to all believers everywhere.

 

Unto his eternal glory indicates what believers have been called to.

 

This glory is his, i.e. God the Father’s.

 

It is eternal. It will last forever. It will not fade as the glory which shone on Moses’ face.

 

Glory in this context appears to have the same meaning as our inheritance in I Peter 1 which is described as incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. This inheritance is furthermore said to be reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Our inheritance is our eternal salvation.

 

Glory may refer specifically to the Christlikeness which will be ours when Christ returns for us and our old sin natures are removed forever.

 

It may instead refer to heaven itself which will be glorious.

 

By Christ Jesus indicates the means by which God called us. It is by the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross for our sins and His subsequent resurrection from the dead.

 

It is also possible that it means in Christ Jesus. If so, by Christ Jesus would indicate that God called us in the sphere or realm of Christ, i.e. in salvation. The difference in meaning is not significant inasmuch as both are taught elsewhere in Scripture. Those who are called are redeemed by the blood of Christ; and when they are saved, they are placed in Christ Jesus.

 

After that ye have suffered a while indicates that the glory to which believers have been called is not immediate. Some suffering may precede the glory. Throughout the entire epistle Peter has been explaining that believers may endure persecution. He ends his epistle as he began it.

 

In chapter one he wrote that, although they rejoice in their inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, unfading, and kept in heaven for them, they may be in heaviness temporarily because of the trial they are enduring; yet, the purpose of that trial is to refine their Christian character. The suffering is for their own spiritual benefit; and although it is necessary, it is only temporary as a while indicates.

 

Peter’s desire for these believers is that God make them perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle them. These are all expressions of wish on Peter’s part.

 

Make you perfect is put you into proper condition, complete you, or make you complete. They were not yet perfect or complete. The suffering is intended to help put them into proper condition. The final goal is complete Christlikeness, and believers have been predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29 ). Believers will also be completely like Christ, for we shall see him as he is (I John 3:2 ).

We also see that –

  II.     GOD WILL ESTABLISH BELIEVERS – 5:10

 

I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, . . . stablish . . . you.

 

Stablish . . . you literally means set you up, fix you, fix you firmly, establish you, or support you. When used figuratively as it is in this verse, it means confirm you, establish you, or strengthen you.

We furthermore see that –

 III.     GOD WILL STRENGTHEN BELIEVERS – 5:10

 

I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, . . . strengthen . . . you.

 

Strengthen . . . you means make you strong.

In addition, we see that –

 IV.     GOD WILL SETTLE BELIEVERS – 5:10

 

I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, . . . settle you.

 

Settle you literally means lay your foundation. Figuratively it means establish you or strengthen you. Peter’s last three terms mean basically the same thing.

Finally, we see –

   V.     PETER’S CONCLUDING REMARKS – 5:11-14

 

I Peter 5:11-1411 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. 14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

To him refers to the God of all grace. It is God the Father.

 

As indicated by the italics, be has been supplied by the translators to aid the understanding of the English reader.

 

Glory properly belongs to God. The appears before glory in the Greek text. This implies that the sum total of all the glory there is belongs to Him.

 

Dominion is power, might, rule, or sovereignty. God the Father is the highest ruler there is. The appears before dominion in the Greek text. This implies that all the sovereignty there is also belongs to God the Father.

 

For ever and ever means for all eternity.

 

Peter concludes this doxology with Amen which conveys the idea of truly or so be it.

 

I Peter 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

 

By Silvanus . . . I have written briefly tells us that Peter did not do the actual writing of this epistle.

 

Silvanus was the amanuensis or scribe. Peter told him what to write, and Silvanus wrote it down. Silvanus is the Silas who had been Paul’s traveling companion.

 

I have written indicates that Peter is responsible for what was written. He is the human author. Silvanus is only his penman. Similarly, an office executive might dictate a letter for his secretary to type. He indicates that he is responsible for the letter by signing his name to it, but the secretary actually types it.

 

Briefly is literally by means of a few matters. It tells what we already know by having read the epistle. It was not lengthy. It discussed a few matters.

 

Silvanus is further described as a faithful brother unto you.

 

Faithful is used in the sense of trustworthy, reliable, or dependable.

 

By brother Peter means that Silvanus is a fellow-believer. Apparently, Silvanus was well-known unto Peter’s readers. Perhaps it is because he and Paul had previously ministered in this area.

 

Although unto you is close in the text to a faithful brother and can be understood in the sense that Silvanus had been faithful toward them, unto you is better understood with I have written.

 

As I suppose suggests that Peter is stating his own opinion regarding Silvanus’ being the faithful brother. It means as I think, as I believe, or as I am of the opinion that. Its tense demonstrates that Peter had reached a settled conclusion on the matter. He was not merely hazarding a guess. He had observed Silvanus and had concluded that he is a faithful brother.

 

Exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand indicates what Peter was intending to accomplish by writing this letter.

 

Exhorting means encouraging, urging, or appealing to. He urged them to stay true to the Lord during the trials they were enduring.

 

Testifying means bearing witness.

 

The content of his testimony is that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

 

This particularizes the grace of God as being that particular grace of God wherein ye stand. It is not some other grace of God.

 

True is used in the sense of real or genuine.

 

Grace means unmerited or undeserved favor, and it is used in the sense of our standing (or position) in Christ.

 

Of God may indicate either possession or source. If it is intended to indicate possession, it is God’s grace; it belongs to Him. If it is intended to indicate source, it means that it comes from God. The difference is not important because both are true. It is God’s grace, and it does come from Him.

 

Wherein is in which.

 

The word translated ye stand is a verb whose tense indicates an action completed in past time with its result continuing on. They had taken their stand in this grace of God and were still standing there.

 

Wherein ye stand suggests that we have genuine salvation, and there is no other salvation for which to look. It is reasonable, however, to suppose that some who were in the midst of terrible persecution might have a few doubts. They might begin to question whether this salvation were genuine or whether there might be another salvation they had missed. Peter wrote to assure them that they had made the right choice and to encourage them to stay faithful to God. This persecution was only temporary and in God’s plan for them.

 

I Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

 

The church that is at Babylon indicates Peter’s location while writing this letter. He was at Babylon. Now at first glance, this does not seem to be a problem; but which Babylon is it? Is Babylon the Babylon of the Old Testament over which Nebuchadnezzar ruled? Is it a military outpost in Egypt known as Babylon, the site of what is today called Cairo? Is it used figuratively of Rome as John does in Revelation? In reality the contents of the epistle are not affected in any way by the location of this Babylon. Most view it as either the Babylon on the Euphrates River, i.e. the Babylon of Daniel, or as Rome. Of these views, although there were many Jews still living in the area of Babylon on the Euphrates River at the time I Peter was written, there is no record or tradition to indicate that Peter was ever associated with the churches in that area. By contrast the view that Babylon is used symbolically of Rome has a history which runs back into the second century. It might also have been wise for Peter to conceal his real whereabouts lest this letter fall into the wrong hands. It seems best to understand Babylon as Rome.

 

In order to show that Peter was not the first pope in the Roman Catholic Church, some have argued that there is no record of Peter’s ever having been in Rome. However, this argument is not likely valid and is certainly not necessary. Whether he was ever in Rome would have no bearing on whether he was the first pope. Peter was not the first pope (or any other pope for that matter) whether or not he was ever in Rome.

 

Elected together with you refers to the church that is at Babylon. The believers to whom Peter was writing were said to be elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:2 ). Those to whom Peter was writing were not alone in their election. Others had also been elected together with them.

 

Saluteth you is greets you or sends you greetings.

 

And so doth Marcus my son indicates that Mark was with Peter at the time he wrote this first epistle. Marcus is an alternate spelling for Mark and is undoubtedly the same person who had written the gospel which bears his name. He was related to Barnabas. He had accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Paul’s first missionary journey and had turned back. Later Paul wrote that Mark is profitable to him for the ministry (II Timothy 4:11 ). Peter refers to Mark as my son; and, although this indicates a close relationship, it does not really imply or suggest that Peter was Mark’s biological father. It likely means that Mark was saved under Peter’s ministry.

 

I Peter 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity indicates the common greeting a man would extend toward another man who was a believer. He would greet him with a kiss to show his love for him. Men would kiss men and women would kiss women.

 

Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus indicates that Peter extends his greetings to them in the form of peace. They already had peace with God because they were saved. It is used in the sense of shalom, a greeting from one Jew to another.

 

In Christ Jesus limits Peter’s wish of peace to those who were saved.

 

Amen concludes the epistle. It is used in the sense of truly or so be it.

CONCLUSION:

 

As we conclude our study of I Peter, we remind you that persecution had become commonplace in the New Testament era, and Peter was writing in order to instruct believers how they should live in a world which was antagonistic toward them. Peter’s theme is suffering and glory. His purpose was to exhort the believers to remain steadfast in times of suffering because of their hope in Christ. They are exhorted throughout this epistle to live godly lives knowing that God has a very definite purpose in allowing their suffering. Suffering is mentioned sixteen times in the epistle.

 

Although believers living in the United States of America have not experienced the suffering believers in other lands have endured, it may be coming. Peter has prepared us for this.